The City of Edmonds is one of three Snohomish County agencies that have joined EnviroStars in announcing the launch of an expanded program that brings together green business initiatives from around the region under one umbrella.
According to an announcement last week, the “supercharged” EnviroStars program will be a central hub for Washington businesses to receive assistance and recognition for saving energy and water, reducing waste and pollution, choosing safer products, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Edmonds joins Snohomish County and Snohomish County PUD as three of the 16 Washington cities, counties and utilities to launch a revamped EnviroStars program. EnviroStars includes a central web portal that allows businesses to find referrals for local sustainability services and incentives to start on a path to recognition. The program will also help small businesses connect with one another so they can learn from and support their peers.
“Whether it’s plastic bags, solar panels or stormwater impacts, Edmonds has consistently shown leadership on sustainability issues,” said City of Edmonds Development Services Director Shane Hope. “Right now we are aiming at 100-percent renewable sources for electricity. We appreciate that many businesses in Edmonds are working to be as green as possible.”
While there are no Edmonds businesses yet listed on the EnviroStars website, Snohomish County PUD spokesman Aaron Swaneys said that two are starting the process for inclusion: Walnut Street Coffee and the Refinery Salon.
“The EnviroStars Program will help us better serve the needs of Snohomish County businesses by providing them a single, trusted source they can turn to for all their environmental actions,” added PUD Market Segments Manager Jessica Mitchell. “We’re excited to be part of a state-wide program that supports our local business communities in their efforts to green their business operations.”
Consumers will use the EnviroStars directory to find businesses who share their environmental values — from restaurants and grocery stores, to hotels and auto body shops, and everything in between. They can also look for the EnviroStars mark on the storefronts of recognized businesses in their community.
The City of Edmonds has operated a Green Business Program of its own for several years, and Hope said she anticipates that eventually, the two programs will be merged. “Envirostars is just getting launched so we have not yet worked with out local businesses on this but will start doing so soon,” Hope said. “One of the big advantages of The Envirostars program is that it will allow our businesses to get more regional exposure and access to eco-friendly resources.”
The original EnviroStars program began 20 years ago, giving incentives and recognition to small King County businesses for reducing hazardous waste. The new multi-jurisdiction program is leveraging the successful EnviroStars brand to expand its environmental focus and geographic reach by working with counties and cities that share their environmental values.
To learn more or to get started, visit envirostars.org.